Fenugreek, or Shambhala - medicinal properties and uses in cooking

Fenugreek, or Shambhala - medicinal properties and uses in cooking

In the markets, I cannot pass by the section where they sell spices. Amazing exotic aromas of herbs and roots excite and awaken the imagination. You involuntarily imagine distant countries where these fragrant substances were grown and collected.

Once, when I was standing and looking at numerous containers and bags of spices, I suddenly heard a woman ask the seller: "Do you have shambhala?"... She answered in the affirmative and began weighing the light brown powder into a bag.

I wondered what kind of plant it was that echoes the name of the mythical country of Shambhala, about which I have heard and read many interesting things. Perhaps this is the plant from which the spice is prepared, originally from Tibet?

However, the female salesperson disappointed me. She explained that Shambhala is one of the many names of the plant, which is known in Russia as fenugreek. It turns out that it is also called chaman, fenugreek, camel grass, Greek clover - only about ten names are known. And this powder is prepared precisely from the fruits of fenugreek.

So what is this mysterious plant - fenugreek? Its botanical name is fenugreek (Trigonella foenum graecum l)... It is a spicy aromatic plant, a herbaceous annual of the legume family. And its fruit, from which the seasoning is prepared, is a small bean. The homeland of hay fenugreek is the Eastern Mediterranean, Asia Minor. Now it can be found in the countries of the Middle East, in Greece.

Hay fenugreek also grows on the territory of Russia - in the North Caucasus, in the European part of the country, in the Far East, and this plant can be found on roadsides, in pastures, in wastelands. By the way, experts say that the Russian name for fenugreek comes from the old word "pasture" - pasture. And now in some countries fenugreek is grown as a fodder plant for cows, fattening gobies, and also as a food plant, because its tender young leaves and stems are used for food. They have a mushroom flavor, and the spice made from its beans has a nutty flavor.

Cultivation of fenugreek-shambhala

Fenugreek hay is also grown by gardeners and gardeners - both for food and for medicinal purposes. It turns out that this plant has not only valuable spice and taste properties, but also medicinal.

Shambhala propagates by seeds - these are small oblong beans, which, like most legumes, are located in a pod - from 10 to 20 beans.

Seeds are sown in spring on a sunny, wind-protected area of ​​the garden, in fertile loose soil, heated to a temperature of at least 10 ° C (but higher is desirable) to a depth of 1.5 cm.The distance between plants is left up to 10 cm. This plant is not loves acidic soils, so if there are acidic soils on the site, they need to be deoxidized by adding lime.

Care for fenugreek seedlings consists in loosening the soil, regular watering, weeding. When sown in May and well cared for, its plants will bloom in June, and the fruits will ripen, depending on the area, air temperature and the number of sunny days in the season, in late summer - early autumn.

Shambhala in cooking

In many countries, Shambhala is used as a greenery for salads (tender leaves and stems), they have a mushroom flavor, which is why this plant is sometimes called mushroom grass. Fenugreek leaves added to vegetable salads give them an excellent aroma and taste. As a seasoning, powdered fenugreek beans are used for cooking soups, for preparing second courses; they are part of a mixture of turmeric and a mixture famous in our country hops-suneli.

Medicinal properties of fenugreek

Even Hippocrates recommended Shambhala for medicinal purposes. And now this plant is widely used in folk medicine in many countries. The preparations made from its seeds have anti-inflammatory properties, they have a calming effect and help to heal wounds. Fenugreek is useful for people, especially the elderly, weakened by an illness, especially in diseases of the nervous and respiratory systems.

A thick paste made from ground shambhala seeds is used to apply to boils, ulcers and wounds that do not heal well. The fenugreek seed mucus in this paste soothes irritated and inflamed tissues and promotes healing. It helps to apply such a paste on gauze or other fabric hot on a sore spot and with rheumatism.

A decoction of fenugreek seeds is widely used in folk medicine for colds and lung diseases. To do this, put 2 teaspoons of the seeds of this plant in a glass of water in a water bath for 15 minutes. Take the resulting broth with honey 3-4 times a day.

In addition, regular use of Shambhala lowers cholesterol and blood sugar.

As a tonic and tonic, crushed shambhala seeds are also taken - 1 tbsp. crushed seeds are poured into a glass of hot milk and drunk. You can germinate seeds for this purpose and then eat the sprouted fenugreek seeds.

Since fenugreek seeds are rich in iron, it also helps with anemia. For this, crushed seeds are taken in 1-2 teaspoons with milk and honey. At the same time, iron from seeds is well absorbed, and its level in the blood rises.

Shambhala is useful for the human digestive system. It increases appetite, improves intestinal motility, helps cleanse the body of toxins and toxins.

This plant also has contraindications: fenugreek should not be taken by pregnant women in order to avoid premature birth. It is not recommended to use it for insulin-dependent patients with diabetes.

E. Valentinov


Fenugreek nutritional value

1 tablespoon of fenugreek seeds contains:

  • 35.5 calories
  • 6.4 grams of carbohydrates
  • 2.5 grams of protein
  • 0.7 grams of fat
  • 2.7 g fiber
  • 3.7 milligrams iron (20 percent DV)
  • 0.1 milligram manganese (7 percent DV)
  • 0.1 milligrams copper (6 percent DV)
  • 21 milligrams magnesium (5 percent DV)
  • 32.6 milligrams phosphorus (3 percent DV)
  • 0.1 milligram vitamin B6 (3 percent DV)

RDA - Recommended daily intake


How to store it correctly?

I have no bad news for you: High quality fenugreek seeds can live in your kitchen for about 3 years under normal storage conditions.

Now let's find out what these tiny squares and rectangles expect from us. First, fenugreek, which, no matter how other spices (and how we humans!), Are put in their own place. He does not need to take out a mortgage and build a house, he wants to use a small glass jar or a clay container, the most important thing is that the lid of such a vessel is very tightly closed.

Fenugreek seeds dream that strong sunlight does not fall into an enclosed space, so they will not be depleted in their "communal apartment" from the heat, and they do not risk that friends from above will not flood them.

In other words, keep the spice container dark, cool and dry. Try to provide these aromatic grains with all of the above criteria, and they will gratefully decorate your dishes with their taste and smell for many years.

The shelf life of ground fenugreek, like the dried leaves of this plant, is not so long - up to six months, but they require special attention, in contrast to whole seeds.

All the best and see you soon!

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Hay fenugreek (in Latin Trigonélla foénum-graécum) is an annual plant that belongs to the genus Fenugreek, the legume family and the Moth subfamily.

Know! Since the plant is very popular and used in many countries, many names have been assigned to it: fenugreek, shambhala, fenugrek, chaman, methi, hilbe, helba greek goat shamrock, philosophical clover, camel thorn, cocked hat and others.

The maximum height of the foénum-graécum can reach sixty centimeters. Shambhala has successive tripartite ovoid leaves about two centimeters long. The foliage is slightly jagged along the edges. Representatives of this species are characterized by a taproot and a rounded branched stem.

Fenugreek has small moth flowers, which singly or rootstock "sit" in the leaf axils. The flowers are painted in white and yellow colors, and at the base - in light shades of purple. The flowering period falls in May-June.

Attention! The fruit of the plant is beans containing hard rectangular seeds. The beans can be bare or drooping. They grow up to ten centimeters long and only five millimeters wide.


Traditional medicine recipes

The simplest recipe for using fenugreek for medicinal purposes (with acute respiratory infections, vitamin deficiency, to increase immunity) is tea. Helba seeds are fried, like coffee, in a pan. To prevent the drink from acquiring bitterness, you should not stand the seeds until they turn red, it is enough to wait for a uniform golden hue to appear. Then they are ground. The drink is boiled for 5-7 minutes over medium heat, pouring a teaspoon of powder with a glass of boiling water. A little honey and ginger to taste enhance the healing effect of the tea.

For a sore throat, you can dissolve homemade lozenges with helba. For their preparation, 2-3 tablespoons of granulated sugar are melted, a pinch of ground helba is added, mixed and poured into molds to solidify.

With constipation, it is enough to take half a teaspoon of helba seed powder at night with plenty of water. In the morning, the problem will be resolved naturally.

If you dissolve a teaspoon of ground helba seed in a cup of warm milk, this drink acts as a remedy:

  • tonic and tonic
  • for ENT diseases
  • lactogonous
  • decongestant.

With anemia, such a paste helps: 100 grams of dates, dried apricots, figs are chopped, 2 tablespoons of ground helba seed and 1/3 cup of honey are added. Store the paste in the refrigerator in a tightly closed container. Eat before meals on a tablespoon, washed down with milk, three times a day.


Spice seeds contain fiber and starch, sugar and essential oils, proteins and proteins, and essential enzymes. It is rich in potassium and calcium, magnesium and sodium, zinc and phosphorus. Shambhala contains all invaluable nasamino acids. Vitamins D and B, C, PP and A are also found in it in large quantities. Being a valuable source of iron and proteins, shambhala helps nourish bone marrow cells, blood, reproductive organs and nerves.


Contraindications to the use of fenugreek

Like almost all other medicinal plants, fenugreek has some contraindications that must be taken into account when taking it.

Contraindications to the use of fenugreek

  • Fenugreek should not be used by women when carrying a baby and during lactation.
  • In addition, children should not be treated with it. This is due to the fact that it contains a large number of steroids that can have negative health effects.
  • There is a possibility of individual intolerance to the components that make up this plant.

It is best to consult your doctor before using it.

Fenugreek blue and hay during the application, have proven themselves from the best side. They are indispensable in cooking and medicine. The addition of blue fenugreek to any dish can make its taste and smell unique, and hay fenugreek is excellent for the treatment of many diseases.


Watch the video: 7 Unknown health benefits of fenugreek. fenugreek uses